Rákoš – Holy Trinity Church

History

   The church in Rákoš was built around the middle of the 13th century, and at the end of the 14th and early 15th centuries its interior was decorated with polychromes. At the turn of the 16th and 17th centuries, it passed into the hands of Protestants, who adapted it to their liturgy. This led to the removal of gothic altars and the whitewashing of medieval polychromes. Later, a wooden gallery was also erected inside. In the 18th century, the church was rebuilt by Catholics, and in 1752 it was subjected to further modifications and changes in the interior (among others new windows in the north wall and enlargement of the two southern windows). In the late 1980s the church was in poor condition. As part of the renovation, the early-modern porch in front of the entrance was removed, and the windows received original late-Romanesque jambs. The renovation of the interior was later interrupted for many years, but work started again in 2009.

Architecture

   The church was built as a late Romanesque aisleless building with a semicircular apse on the eastern side and a sacristy on the northern side. It was lit by five tall and narrow windows: two in the apse and three on the southern wall of the nave. According to the medieval building tradition, the northern façade had no openings. This was undoubtedly of practical importance, because from the south and east you could get the most sunlight. There are also views seeking the ideological foundations of this practice, perhaps resulting from medieval mysticism, which reserved the north side for evil powers, from which church was separated.
   The interior of the apse and nave was covered with colorful polychromes. In the apse it was Christ in a mandorla, supplemented by the Fathers of the Church and the symbols of the evangelists. Several saints and three Hungarian saint kings were also depicted: St. Stephen, St. Imrich and St. Ladislaus. In the nave, there were three stripes of paintings containing the legend of St. Ladislaus and the scene of the Last Judgment. Below were individual votive pictures depicting the Virgin Mary and various saints. The image of the Holy Trinity in the form of a seated God with three faces and four eyes deserves special attention.
   Despite the Romanesque form, the first glimpses of Gothic appeared in the church in the form of a pointed arcade separating the nave from the interior of the apse. The gothic shape was also given to the southern portal leading to the nave, and narrow but high windows heralded the advent of the new era.

Current state

   The church has been preserved in almost its original form, as one of the few Romanesque buildings in the Gemer region. Inside, valuable frescoes from the last quarter of the 14th century and the beginning of the 15th century have been preserved. An interesting fact are the small holes visible at the southern portal. Called magic holes, they pass for traces of “church dust” extraction for white magic.

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bibliography:
Mencl V., Stredoveká architektúra na Slovensku, Praha 1937.

Website apsida.sk, Rákoš.